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‘Times have changed, so have forms of protest’

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Prabir Roy, JU Professor at the rally

By Roshni Chakrabarty and Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Twenty three organisations of the West Bengal cultural forum took part in the first protest on intolerance organized in Kolkata, on November 7, in front of the Academy of Fine Arts, also called the Ranu Chhaya Mancha.

Organisations such as the West Bengal Ganatantric Lekhak Shilpi Shongo, Bharatiya Gonoshonskriti Shongo, and eminent personalities including advocate Bharati Mutsuddi, artist Samir Aich, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Prabir Roy, and noted poet Mandakranta Sen took part in the protest rally.

NewsGram asked Samir Aich on his opinion regarding Shah Rukh Khan being termed a national threat. He said that those calling the Bollywood star a terrorist were themselves so. He commended the move undertaken by so many writers and scholars all over India in returning their awards as a protest against the rising intolerance in the country.

“A person is entitled to his own language and form for the protest. If one believes that returning his or her award is the way to protest, then the person has every right to do so! Why is this being questioned in the first place? India is walking towards a grave direction. This is nothing less than what the country saw in 1984,” said Aich.

Prabir Roy, Bengali professor from Jadavpur University, said that the issue was being taken in to a different direction by citing ‘international conspiracy’ and ‘foreign hands’. “This slant that is being given to the intolerant situation is diverting the common people and distracting us from the real issue. Certain groups, certain sections of the society are endorsing an autocratic regime. The way religion is being promoted right now has to stop. Otherwise, the demise of this nation is imminent.”

“I have never seen such a thing in my entire political career,” said former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee. “I am afraid Kolkata might go back to the dark times of the 1945-46 riots.”

“India is a secular country and people of different communities have lived together here for years, even long before the British came to India,” said advocate Bharati Mutsuddi to NewsGram. “In this aspect, India is different from most other countries in the world. The Hindutva ideals being promoted by BJP and RSS which project the country as a Hindu nation, where people are being killed for eating beef, is dangerous to India’s basic essence and might even lead us to civil war.”

On being asked why no such initiative was taken during the dire situation of the 1984 Sikh riots or the Babri Masjid issue, she said that several protests were carried out during the time as well. “A bandh was even called by the then ruling Left front government in Bengal as a protest against the riots embroiling the nation. But the times have changed now, and so has the form of protest,” said the advocate citing the growing awareness of the population due to the advent of social media.

Mutsuddi also spoke out against the political colour given to these protests by the media. “Every protestor is not affiliated to a political party just because they are speaking against an issue and carrying out a protest. The media has taken it on themselves to label protests as a Congress Movement or a BJP one. This is what they have always done!”

She further elaborated that individuals such as historian Irfan Habib and writer Arundhati Roy were not involved in any party activities, but the fact that they were returning their awards to protest against the intolerance issue should show what condition our country was in.

“People need to realise that everyone is entitled to a political thought process, even though they are not necessarily affiliated to any political party,” added Mudshuddi.

Bharati Mudshuddi (centre) with others at the rally
Advocate Bharati Mutsuddi (centre) with others at the rally

 

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India Should Crack Down Upon The Terror Sympathizers Within The Country

The road to a victory must be undisclosed. More so, when our enemies within the country are more insidious, more intelligent, more brutal and more warlike

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They have systematically misled and “incited” millions of our Indians to voice against the Indian ethos, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. But mind, all these formidable forces are sweet-hearts of the media.

By: Salil Gewali

After the terrible Pulwama attack by Pakistan sponsored terrorists, India is apparently standing up. Yes, it is practically gearing towards the better strategies to “hit the evil heads”. True, the realization that the enemies are getting more “brutal” and more inhumane than ever before should make India realistic and visionary. Of course, our “battles” to fight against are many, because the adversaries are of various kinds.  While India should send its army deep into the terrorists’ hideouts in Pakistan, India should also “spare its thought” in dealing with those forces who eat, drink and luxuriate in the facilities provided by India, but their hearts ache for something others. There are an increasing number of forces which even try to disestablish the nation and its integrity.

What more? When the questions of sedition are raised against those dangerous forces then the media comes forward to denounce the whole country. Are Kanhaiya  Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Shehla Rashid Shora, Mr. Jignesh Mewani, Arundhati Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdulla,.. ….  and lot many other leaders from Kashmir….. not inciting our youths?

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There are an increasing number of forces which even try to disestablish the nation and its integrity.

                 They have systematically misled and “incited” millions of our Indians to voice against the Indian ethos, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. But mind, all these formidable forces are sweet-hearts of the media. The “treacherous adventures” of those people make the majority of Indian intellectuals cheerier and lustier! Each anti-nationalist “scream” by these elements never get wasted. It is effectively used to degrade the nation, demean the culture and denigrated the religion!

The notion of “discrimination” against the particular community or particular religion is in factcreated in the newsrooms. The idea of “intolerance”, which was coined by those people to attack the majority, has just vanished into thin air when the same term was applied otherwise!

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Each anti-nationalist “scream” by these elements never get wasted. It is effectively used to degrade the nation, demean the culture and denigrated the religion!

              My serious questions —  “has India practically failed to treat its country’s citizens lovingly? Has India ever discriminated its citizens on the basis of religions and languages?” Absolutely not. Here in India the minorities are provided especial facilities, they are well caressed and insanely pampered than the majority.

                       But still, the elite intellectuals and media houses blame the government or certain parties and organizations, and deliberately “ferment the anti-nation” feelings. Bhakt, Sangi are overused terms to belittle any persons who show love towards the nation. Who knows, after few years from now, it will be considered as a crime to praise the country and its culture. Please watch out, enough is enough! India should not faff about any longer. Rather, it should find ways to come down heavily upon such dangerous forces. Bluntly speaking, India should hold down and deal appropriately those subversive forces with equal seriousness and urgency!

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The TV channels round the clock struggle to broadcast almost every inch of the army’s movement.

Well, the recent three successful strikes by India on 26th February should not be a case of joy either. Because today’s joy could bring a load of sorrows tomorrow! What is most important is the “silent preparedness” for the battles. It can only ensure an easy victory.  The noises only contribute to shaking the firmness and determination of our military forces.

Also Read:  Cloak And Dagger: Indo-Bangla Ties

                 Is it not too childish that we get prior information as to the plans and modus operandi of our fighters onWhatsApp and Facebook these days? I think it is too disgusting; it is ludicrous! The TV channels round the clock struggle to broadcast almost every inch of the army’s movement. Why are the sensitive action plans discussed to the bone in the newsrooms? A bigger mission should be executed under the cover of privacy. Please kindly note we have an equal number of enemies within the country.  Those within the countries may be passionately working to weaken India and its ethos rather than making it stronger. The road to victory must be undisclosed.  More so, when our enemies within the country are more insidious, more intelligent, more brutal and more warlike.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.